Keep eye on Thomas

Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Mark from Jacksonville:
I noticed a lot of other teams have held mini-camps recently. Will the Jags be holding one before the draft? Also, what is the purpose of these mini-camps before then, conditioning?

Vic: Teams with new head coaches are granted an extra mini-camp. Those are the teams that have conducted pre-draft mini-camps. The intent of those extra mini-camps is to give those teams an opportunity to become familiar with their new coach's practice regimen before the league-wide post-draft mini-camps. The Jaguars will conduct their post-draft mini-camp on May 12-14.

Moshe from Mexico City, Mexico:
Do the NFL Europe teams have owners?

Vic: NFL Europe League teams are owned and funded by the NFL.

Vincent from Jacksonville:
On Monday you gave reasons why you like the 3-4 defense. Now give us some reasons why you don't like the 3-4 defense and why the majority of the league hasn't implemented it.

Vic: Schematically, it is not a good run-defense because it's light in the pants up front. Teams that stop the run with the 3-4 do so because they have especially good run-stuffing personnel. That begins with the nose tackle. If you don't have a good nose tackle, you won't stop the run. There's a third thing about the 3-4 I like that I failed to mention in yesterday's column: It's economically advantageous because you're drafting and signing defensive linemen who are 4-3 rejects, which makes them a little cheaper.

William from Jacksonville:
How does Reggie Bush compare to Tony Dorsett? Wasn't Dorsett slightly built with concerns about running inside? Who else is Bush comparable to?

Vic: Tony Dorsett was an outstanding inside runner. He could hit a hole like nobody else; through and gone. Dorsett was a smaller guy but he played much bigger than his size. His game was speed but he would drop his pads on you. I covered a game in which he dropped his pads on a rugged cornerback named Ron Johnson along the sideline and knocked Johnson out. The guy to whom I've compared Reggie Bush is Warrick Dunn.

John from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
To answer your question about defending my father's honor in Philly or being sensible and singing, I sang like a superstar. "Fly Eagles, fly." I was hoarse for a week.

Vic: You're my kind of guy.

Andy from Boston, MA:
Can you get a job with the Patriots' web site? I love this column but after I read it I feel like I'm cheating on my team.

Vic: This introduces a provocative question: If you read a girlie magazine, are you cheating on your wife? I'll ask my wife what she thinks.

Ryan from Lake Worth, FL:
Which year do you think was the best draft top to bottom for the Jaguars?

Vic: I've always been partial to the 1996 draft because of its depth of class. Had Michael Cheever not suffered a career-ending back injury, there's no doubt the '96 draft would be the best because I truly believe Cheever was headed toward a long and distinguished career. Three of the first four picks – Kevin Hardy, Tony Brackens and Aaron Beasley – had long and productive careers. Cheever was the Jaguars' third pick. Fourth-rounder Reggie Barlow was a top return man for the Jaguars and fifth-rounder Jimmy Herndon stayed in the league a long time. John Fisher suffered a career-ending broken leg in his rookie year or he may have become a star special teams player. Chris Doering was still kicking around the league last year.

Sean from Dublin, GA:
Screw all the Philly fans. I can't wait to go to that game. I hope one of them tries some stuff with me and I hope everybody thinks my way.

Vic: Sing, Sean, sing.

Chad from Easley, SC:
If you somehow found a way to sneak a peek at the Jags value board would you post it?

Vic: If I had mysteriously lost consciousness and awakened in the Jaguars draft room staring directly at the team's value board, I would immediately cover my eyes and claim to have been stricken blind. You don't mess with the value board. It is guarded as tightly as the team's playbook.

Bernard from Sandbox, Qatar:
I laugh about the "bad senior editor" comment. I have learned so much more about football on this site. Just last week I had to show this site to a hardcore Patriots fan who could not reconcile the McGinest release, to explain to him that his team is great because it does what it must to protect its competitiveness when it comes to salary cap management and recognizing player ability decline.

Vic: Sandbox? I gotta believe that's a military name. How does the fair citizenry of Qatar feel about the name Sandbox?

Cory from Jacksonville:
What is your opinion on Ralph Wilson's complaints about the new CBA?

Vic: I think he's right on.

Jedd from Deridder, LA:
You have said the Texans' problems could be fixed quickly and that they will be the wild card team in the AFC South. So, what do you think of Gary Kubiak's repair job so far?

Vic: Eric Moulds is an upgrade replacement for Jabar Gaffney and Corey Bradford. Moulds is both of those players rolled into one. The Texans spent some serious money in free agency. They gave a $6 million signing bonus to Anthony Weaver, $3 million to Mike Flanagan, $2 million to Sage Rosenfels and $1.1 million to Jameel Cook. I'm not sure if they'll get their money's worth. They also signed Sam Cowart, Wali Rainer, Ndukwe Kalu and Michael Stone. Moulds and Weaver are significant acquisitions, but the Texans desperately need to find some offensive linemen in the draft.

Tyler from Coon Rapids, IA:
Why in the world would the Jaguars even consider Cromartie?

Vic: There will be a point when Antonio Cromartie's talent will make him worth the risk. This is an exceptional talent at the most premium of positions. He's a player you otherwise would never have a chance to draft with the 28th overall pick.

Matt from Jacksonville:
I've turned a bunch of friends and Jags fans onto your column. I can no longer impress them with knowledge gained from your column since they read it, too. Enough flattery. With the need for a weakside linebacker, do you think he may already be on the team?

Vic: It's possible. Pat Thomas is a guy I'd like to see. I really liked him when the Jaguars drafted him and predicted he would be the sleeper of last year's Jags draft class. He was slowed by a severe hamstring injury in training camp and never got into the flow at linebacker. Then, in the final game of the regular season, Thomas got significant playing time and opened a lot of eyes. He had seven tackles, five solo and one pass-defensed. He's a smart, athletic kid. Keep an eye on him.

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